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Verschiedene Curry-Gewürze in leuchtend orange-gelben Farben

Sailor‘s curry real Captain’s style

January 1st, 2021 | main dishes

Based on the Asian rice table, but reduced to the conditions on board the merchant ships: a European version that has cult status among all German seafarers: the seaman’s curry. A colorful dish for the dark season.

Sailor‘s curry real Captain’s style

The seaman’s curry plays a major role in our family history. How many times have I eaten it on board. How often have we prepared it at home… How often have we been invited to a great sailor’s curry on land?

Our children once said at the age of two and four: “Uuuuhhhh, Dad is cooking sailor feed again today…” – ten years later our son wanted a sailor’s curry for his confirmation, because “nobody else has that for his confirmation.” Of course, we cooked it for our 25 guests in two versions: one spicy and one very spicy – it made one or the other bead of sweat after all…

I like to use curry [attention: advertising!] from „Altes Gewürzamt“ [Old Spice Office], namely Curry Mumbai for the mild variant and Curry Goa for the very hot one.

The seaman’s curry is said to have been invented by the chefs of the Hamburg-Süd shipping company (where my dearest captain once learned the trade of ship mechanic). It was particularly widespread on the ships that were on the East-India line. This meal was mostly served on Thursday, which is traditionally known on board as “Sailor Sunday”. In earlier times, on Thursdays, bread rolls and cake were baked on cargo ships and a special lunch – sometimes also the sailor’s curry. It is still served today on festive, maritime occasions such as pilot meals or banquets.

For our family recipe, you can also use a soup chicken instead of a meat chicken, but the meat chicken has a higher meat content and tastes better. I deliberately do not give any quantities of the side dishes to the curry, as they can be varied individually in terms of composition and quantity.

Sailor's curry real Captain’s style

(4-6 servings)

1 beef chicken, approx. 1,200 g
1 soup bundle, choppped
2 onions, halved
1 TS black, whole peppercorns
1 ts salt
1 bay leaf
rinse the chicken in cold water and place in a saucepan with the vegetables and spices, pour cold water on until the chicken is completely covered, bring to the boil, simmer for about 1 hour, skimming off
lift the chicken out of the broth, strain the broth through a sieve
2-3 ts curry powder
season the broth with the curry powder (a lot of curry powder, it has to be really hot!) and bring to the boil again
2-3 ts cornstarch
mix in a little cold water and stir into the boiling curry, simmer briefly until the curry is thickened
remove the skin from the chicken and the meat from the bones, cut into bite-sized pieces and put back into the curry, keep warm but do not let it boil again so that the meat does not crumble
250 - 350 g rice, depending on the number of people
cook in salted water according to the instructions on the package, then drain
mango chutney
salami, cut into cubes
cheese, cut into cubes
boiled ham, cut into cubes
desiccated coconut
onions, sliced
spring onions, cut into pieces or rings
pickles, chopped
sardines, skinless and boneless
nuts, chopped (e.g. Cashews)
pineapple cut into pieces
eggs, hard-boiled, diced
Sambal Olek, to taste
arrange all the side dishes in many small bowls and serve with the rice and curry

The “real” sailor puts rice and chicken curry on his plate and heaps all the other ingredients on top, depending on his own taste. Then he mixes everything and enjoys the real “sailor’s meal”. 🙂

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